This blog is all about the pressure of knowing what we want to do with our futures and some insight I got from some friends of mine on how they navigated deciding their majors and how to cope with it. If you fit the profile of a stressed out college student, maybe you can relate.
Sooo "what do you want to be when you grow up?" Sorry, did that give you anxiety? Take a deep breathe, because I don't know either, and what I have been learning is a lot of adults still don't know. PSA please stop asking people this question, reword it because it creates a lot of pressure (in my opinion).
My dad told me last night that he didn't know until very recently what he wanted to do "when he grew up". He is in his 50s. He worked as a welder for 30 years, and always told himself he would only be with that company for a few years, "just until he figured out what he wanted to do". 30 years later, fate decided for him. He had health issues and couldn't work anymore. This gave my mom and him the opportunity to start a real estate investing and rehabbing company. This created an opportunity to take a break from the everyday mold he was stuck in, and got to decide what he was passionate about.
Now I am helping them, and interested in real estate. My mom has had so many different businesses in my lifetime and it is really cool to watch her follow her passions. She went from retail to interior design to photography to real estate. They are constantly telling me "breathe, you don't have to have everything figured out". Maybe we get the pressure to think we need everything figured out from high school, some from their parents, society for sure, and personally, from myself. I put so much stress and pressure on myself to have it all figured out, I struggle with this EVERYDAY. I am trying to learn that it's okay to change my mind, I don't like something or I tried it, I'm 19, try something else.
A little insider note on how bad I stress myself out: I give myself migraines, mainly at school to the point I can't see or keep my eyes open or it hurts. This results to me having to nap in my car before night class most nights. No part of this is glamorous and I would not recommend to try this at home. So the point I am trying to make is, learn from me, don't give yourself migraines because of stress. Do what you want to do, not what other people want you to do. As a whole we need to support each other and stop putting so much pressure on ourselves, stress causes so many health issues.
Below some people shared their stories with me, maybe these will help you:
Kaylie: "A professor connected me with a handful of professionals from different jobs in the same field!"
Kate: "I've always known I have wanted to work with children ever since I was asked the question "What do you want to do with your life?". BUT is teaching the thing for me? I'm not sure yet, although I have declared that my major, I'm still very open to other sorts of careers that involve children. For people in the same boat as me (thinking they know what they want to do with their life) right now I'm just riding this wave and seeing where it takes me. I've accepted the possibility that teaching might not be for me and that there is a very good chance I might change my major, but I'm going with the flow."
Elsa: "Shadowing someone in a career your interested in! That's what has helped me the most."
Miranda: "I got a story about my major. Oh Lordy.
I started as an environmental science major which requires years of biology, physics, calculus, and chemistry. I struggled from the start in these classes and ultimately had to withdraw from them in order to not risk my GPA. I then come to find out I would be getting paid a fraction of what some other majors were and would be putting my self through hell. I’m now a political science major (huge change, I know) and I love it. I chose it because I can minor in environmental science and bring policy making to it. And that’s where I see you can make a real change in the world. Not to mention you don’t have stupid hard classes and get paid almost double. It’s really upsetting that scientist don’t get paid more and are pushed through hell classes but sadly it’s the world we are in right now."
Anonymous: "I started out college wanting to be a kinesiology major, I already was big into sports and helping people with their bodies, and after dedicating my first semester to that major I realized, that the schooling and time for that career path was just not on my agenda. So I slowed down... I took a personal development class that next semester, traveled a little, might of failed a class or two, but in the end I decided to take a semester off. To a lot of people that is taboo, but for me it made me realize that I want to be a teacher. I want to take my time through school and be able to have an end goal that doesn’t have an expectation date! I think it’s important to remind yourself that we are still so young, and it’s important to leave some room for fun!"
Sierra: "When I went into college I KNEW what I wanted to do. And I had my entire high school career as well. I was gonna go to a 4 year school, major in biology, go onto Med school and become an Oncologist. But when I got to college, I realized a lot about myself.
1) I was not as good at chemistry as I thought, and my first semester I ended up failing the class.
2) I didn’t have the drive nor did I want to put in all the time and effort for med school. I wanted a job that would let me see my family and a doctor is constantly on call.
3) I did something I NEVER thought I would ever do. I switched my major.
And now I’m undeclared, trying to figure out what major to go into so I can still be a part of the health care field, and trying to raise my GPA so that I’ll even be able to get into nursing school. But I realized that even though I wasn’t a hundred percent sure what I wanted to do anymore and I had below a 4.0 GPA which had never happened before, I knew."
Hopefully at least a fraction of this helps you!! <3